Kentucky, West Virginia latest states to step up anti-trans push
West Virginia became the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth after Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed the legislation into law on Wednesday, per AP.
The big picture: At least 10 other states have enacted restrictions on gender-affirming treatments for minors even though major medical groups consider this type of care medically necessary and potentially lifesaving for trans youth.
Details: The law, which will take effect January 2024, bans health care providers from prescribing hormone therapy and puberty blockers to those under 18, per AP. Minors will also not be allowed to receive gender-affirming surgeries.
Yes, but: A late-night amendment proposed by state Sen. Tom Takubo (R), who is a pulmonologist, allows youth to access puberty blockers and hormone therapy if they receive parental consent and are diagnosed with severe gender dysphoria by two doctors, the Mountain State Spotlight notes.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Kentucky on Wednesday voted to override Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a bill prohibiting gender-affirming medical care.
Zoom out: State lawmakers in 2023 have introduced over 100 pieces of legislation focused on banning aspects of gender-affirming medical care, per data from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Worth noting: Proponents of laws restricting gender-affirming care have characterized it as "harmful" and "experimental" medical procedures, but medical experts and LGBTQ advocates say politicians shouldn't be the ones making these decisions.
- 86% of trans and nonbinary youth say that debate around state restrictions on LGBTQ rights has negatively impacted their mental health, according to a poll by The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
What to watch: Efforts to limit gender-affirming care starting to expand beyond the realm of adolescent health, with GOP lawmakers in states including Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas introducing bills that would prohibit gender-affirming care for people as old as 26.